Sunday, July 10, 2011

Homecoming prepared for forthright former first lady Betty Ford

Betty Ford's frank approach to sex, drink and addiction helped win her America's admiration

Betty Ford was a divorcee who spoke candidly about her children's sex lives, her support for women's rights and her long battle with depression, drink and prescription pills.

Betty Ford dies aged 93, Mrs Ford pictured with her husband, US president Gerald Ford, in 1976
Betty Ford pictured with her husband, US president Gerald Ford, in 1976 Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Indeed, for a Republican politician's wife in post-war America, her frankness about matters personal and public was startling.
Mrs Ford was to become one of the most popular first ladies of modern times following her husband Gerald's dramatic, if short-lived, ascendancy to the country's highest office amid the turmoil of the Watergate scandal.
It was however as the founder of the world's best-known substance abuse clinic and a pioneer of rehabilitation treatment that she was best known.
And as tributes poured in yesterday for Mrs Ford, who died on Friday aged 93 at her home near Palm Springs, it was the legacy of the Betty Ford Centre in breaking down the stigma of addiction that was at the forefront of the praise.
Some 90,000 people have been treated at the clinic, including stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Mary Tyler Moore, Johnny Cash and just last year Lindsay Lohan.
Barack Obama led the tributes from a series of presidents and political leaders, both Democrat and Republican, for a woman whose popularity transcended party lines.
"As our nation's first lady, she was a powerful advocate for women's health and women's rights," he said. "After leaving the White House, Mrs. Ford helped reduce the social stigma surrounding addiction and inspired thousands to seek much-needed treatment."
Nancy Reagan, the former first lady, said: "She has been an inspiration to so many through her efforts to educate women about breast cancer and her wonderful work at the Betty Ford Centre. She was Jerry Ford's strength through some very difficult days in our country's history, and I admired her courage in facing and sharing her personal struggles with all of us."
The Hollywood stars who had benefited from her clinic were also quick to share their gratitude.More...

0 commentaires:

Post a Comment